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Wednesday, December 14, 2005

MO-Sen: Talent Waffling on Stem Cells

Posted by DavidNYC

Today, I took my Food & Drug Law final. Appropriately enough, via Jim Hacking, we even have a story related to that subject. It's a little update on the MO stem cell ballot measure - and, chiefly, what unpopular Republican Sen. Jim Talent is doing to avoid giving a firm answer on the subject:

Missouri Sen. Jim Talent was in Kansas City Tuesday and spoke about stem cell research.

"I've always had an open mind on continuing to evaluate my position, because the technology is changing. Almost every week we see an announcement which reveals something some new about cloning," said Talent, a Republican.

Talk about leaving himself some wiggle room. But so much for keeping an open mind: Talent is actually co-sponsoring a bill in the Senate which would criminalize therapeutic cloning, also known as SCNT. What's truly awesome to behold is this insane waffling:

"Do you think SCNT ought to be permitted in Missouri?" Mahoney asked.

"I think, again, it depends on whether or not it's human cloning, depends on what it produces," Talent said.

"Is SCNT, in your mind, human cloning?" Mahoney asked.

"If it results in the cloning of a human embryo, I think we have to say, yeah, it's cloning," Talent said.

Talent's own starring bill outlaws SCNT! And yet he can't answer a direct question about whether it ought to be allowed in his home state. What, does he think the text of the bill says, "It shall be unlawful to perform human cloning in every state except Missouri?" If Talent imagines he can pirouette his way through the general election on stem cells, he'll be about as successful as John Kerry was in avoiding the subject of the war in Iraq.

Posted at 03:30 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Missouri | Technorati

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» Blunt pushed to include stem-cell initiative on November ballot from jimhacking.com
According to Deb Peterson, Jack Danforth and other Republicans supportive of the Missouri stem cell initiative have been hammering on the Boy Governor to place the initiative on next November’s general election ballot. This would be bad news fo... [Read More]

Tracked on December 16, 2005 01:10 PM


I can not wait for the 2006 mid-term elections. If dem's here in missouri can keep treehugging, gun regulating people from getting too much press "Claire" should be able to beat the pasty white, bush administration rubber stamp senator we currently have. The stem cell issue is doing a great job of putting moderate republicans against the more morally conservative ones and we dem's stand to pick up support if we field a centrist group of candidates.

Posted by: Kyle SF [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 14, 2005 11:49 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

My fear is that abortion ends up trumping stem cells on the wedge issue front. The last SUSA poll on that matter showed Missouri as one of about 10 states where pro-lifers outnumber pro-choicers. This will be relevant since next month's Samuel Alito hearings will turn into an extended debate on "a woman's right to choose" and placing that issue right in the frontburner of 2006 politics. With as many issues as the Dems raise about workers' rights and strip-searching 10-year-olds, we can expect to see news footage every evening of Ted Kennedy and Barbara Boxer grilling Alito about Roe vs. Wade, reinforcing to conservative, but uncommitted rural voters their long-standing perspective of the post-DLC Democratic Party standing for abortion rights and abortion rights alone. I desperately hope the Democrats are prepared for this or we'll have a helluva time winning Senate seats in Missouri and Tennessee.

Posted by: Mark [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 15, 2005 11:31 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I think we'll always, always have to contend with abortion as a wedge issue. I don't really think Alito's confirmation hearings add to that problem very much.

Posted by: DavidNYC [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 15, 2005 01:02 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment